3BL Media (CFED)
November 6, 2013
MetLife, Inc. announced today that MetLife Foundation has launched a new global campaign to bring financial inclusion to low-income communities in Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the U.S. The Foundation has committed $200 million over the next five years to support financial programs that will provide vital knowledge, tools and services to underserved individuals, families, businesses and communities.
'For 145 years, MetLife has made a positive difference in the communities we serve by providing financial protection to individuals and their families,' said Steven A. Kandarian, chairman, president and CEO of MetLife, Inc. 'With the new focus of our foundation, we are now even more committed to extending financial protection to those who need it most. Our goal is to ensure that low-income families and communities have access to the tools and resources they need to put them on the path to financial security.'
According to the World Bank, more than 2.5 billion people - nearly half the world's population - live on less than $2 a day, and most live without access to basic financial services that can help build a better future. Through its vision for financial inclusion, MetLife Foundation will provide greater access to affordable financial services that enable people to protect and improve their lives.
'While global poverty statistics can seem overwhelming, MetLife Foundation sees an opportunity to bring greater security, greater opportunity and greater self-reliance to those most in need,' said Dennis White, CEO and president of MetLife Foundation. 'People in poverty manage what little they have with tremendous ingenuity and resourcefulness. Many are low-wage workers, micro entrepreneurs and small-scale farmers, and we're convinced that access to modern financial know-how and a range of services that fit their needs can transform their lives.'
To achieve its goal of bringing financial inclusion to low-income communities around the world, MetLife Foundation has awarded its first round of grants to, among others, ACCION International, Corporation for Enterprise Development, The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Pro Mujer and Women's World Banking.
'Those of us who work toward financial inclusion for the world's poorest households welcome the news that MetLife Foundation is committing $200 million over the next five years to supporting affordable, accessible and well-designed financial services for the poor,' said Dr. Daryl Collins, co-author of 'Portfolios for the Poor' and director at Bankable Frontier Associates. 'MetLife has over a century's worth of experience in making households throughout the world more secure, and applying this legacy of experience toward the world's most vulnerable communities bodes well for the improved welfare of low-income households.'
To advance its new vision, MetLife Foundation will focus on providing access to knowledge, access to services and access to insights. In addition, the Foundation will collaborate with partners who are doing innovative work in this field and learn from others worldwide who are also working to bring financial inclusion to those who need it most.
Access to knowledge. The Foundation will make grants to partners with the ability to reach large numbers of underserved households around the world and work with them to develop financial strategies and resources that will enable them to realize their financial goals.
Access to services. MetLife Foundation will also partner with experts in financial inclusion to deliver services including savings, micro insurance and credit to ensure that those in need are prepared, incentivized and empowered to improve the lives of their families and communities.
Access to insights. MetLife Foundation will gather knowledge from its partners and the communities it serves and share insights with the financial inclusion community to advance common goals.